A book by Jim McDevitt ’96
Call it a bucket-list item, maybe two. McDevitt not only wrote a book, but he spent a year watching every Alfred Hitchcock film, one per week, to do it. The result is A Year of Hitchcock: 52 Weeks with the Master of Suspense, released in hardcover two years ago and coming out in paperback in October. From The Lodger (1927) to Family Plot (1976), the book traces Hitchcock’s career film by film with synopses, trivia and a “Where’s Hitchcock?” box for spotting the director’s clever cameos. “Hitchcock’s films are endlessly fascinating, even after many repeat viewings,” McDevitt says.
A book by Susan Veihdeffer Vogt ’69
A mother of four, Vogt gives parents hope, guidance and support as she addresses the personal and spiritual formation of adult children. She writes from a Catholic perspective but provides lessons for families of any faith. “The kids don’t always follow the path we hoped or wanted for them … but that’s part of our faith journey — learning how to let go and trust God.” A professional Catholic family minister for more than 30 years with husband Jim ’68, she is also a vowed lay Marianist and points to Mary’s formation of Jesus — and by Jesus — as instructive for parents: Our children form us.
A book by Gary Leising ’95
Leising forages for free coffee in the offices at Utica College N.Y., where he teaches creative writing and contemporary literature. In its absence, he grudgingly visits the overpriced campus coffee cart where he is repeatedly stuck behind a customer with a complicated order. He turned his impatience into “Your Punishment in Hell,” one poem in his new book of poetry. “I try to engage readers with a lot of humor and, I hope, a sense of assertion and self-deprecation,” he says. His poems deal with questions of mortality through symbolism of the human animal. But don’t take him too seriously. Every bit of venom he directs at a character illustrates he’s as flawed as us all, just more creative in showing it.
A book by Jen Violi ’96
Hurricane Katrina scattered members of the University of New Orleans creative writing MFA program, blowing Violi north to Dayton. That’s when the seed of the story that had been germinating since her father’s death in 1988 took root. “I always knew I was going to write about loss, honoring my dad and exploring my own healing through fiction,” she says. What began as a short story cycle evolved into an absorbing young adult novel in which high-schooler Donna deals with the grief of her father’s death by finding her own path in life. Violi sets the story in Dayton and hopes readers will forgive Donna, who turns down UD for mortuary school.
Michael Pedley ’98 will be meeting more alumni than ever in his life in the coming months and years. Recently named assistant vice president for alumni outreach, he leads a staff charged with engaging all of UD’s 103,000 alumni and inspiring them to stay connected to and support their alma mater.
All of which raises an interesting question — just how do you spark the conversation with a fellow Flyer? Pedley and his staff, among them Anita Brothers, Tracie Johnson ’08 and Teresa Perretta ’09, offer their tips:
1. Look for the best porch in the neighborhood The love of porches that students develop at UD follows them when house-hunting and beyond, Brothers said. “UD alums have fantastic porches. I’ve had so many show them off to me.”
2. Talk about Dayton travel deals The perfect spot to get away with your Flyer friends now flung across the country? For a lot of alumni, it’s Dayton, Perretta said. “I love hearing from alumni that they vacation in Dayton.”
3. If you see Flyer attire, don’t be afraid to shout “Go Flyers!” Anywhere. An obvious one, but easy, too. In the airport, out shopping, at the beach — if they’re wearing their support, show yours. “There’s never shame in yelling ‘Dayton!’ anywhere,” Johnson said. Look at it from their viewpoint — you’ll make their day.
4. Name-drop your street, your service, your intramural glory Even across generations, the chances of shared experiences are very high at UD, Brothers said. Virtually everyone lived on the same few streets, visited the same chapel and calls “Learn. Lead. Serve.” the UD motto (even though it isn’t officially — that’s “Pro Deo et Patria”). We’re a community, in part, because we all know a lot of the same things and share UD’s Marianist spirit.
5. Step back and let the story flow “At UD, we value listening as much as talking, the mark of the friendliness and openness everyone feels across campus. We also want to know how UD has carried us forward and remained part of us,” Pedley said. When one UD alum meets another, there’s really no ice to break.No Comments
Fiore Talarico ’74 knows how to make the sale.
During his multifaceted career, Talarico, a retired Houston businessman, has bought and sold close to 40 companies in industries ranging from pharmaceutical research to pizza. He’s worked as a venture capitalist, a fundraiser for John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign and an adviser for a national security think tank.
Regardless of the industry, Talarico says that the selling process begins long before one lands a position with a company or makes a deal.
“If you want to get a job, how do you do that? You have to know how to sell yourself,” he says.
Now he’s helping other Flyers become just as adept at the art of selling. Talarico is giving the University a $1 million gift over a five-year period to support the Center for Professional Selling, launched in May 2010. As the call for sales training across disciplines continues to rise from employers and students alike, the School of Business Administration wanted to take advantage of the opportunity to meet that growing demand. The center is one of about
50 at colleges and universities nationwide.
And because of Talarico’s contribution — a gift described as “transformational” by Matthew Shank, former dean of the school who became president of Marymount University in Virginia this summer — the center will take a large step toward accomplishing significant goals that will help students become more competitive in the job market and workplace.
“Selling is important for people from all walks of life,” Talarico said. “This will help more than just future business leaders — all kids can benefit from selling. We want kids at the University of Dayton to be a step ahead.”
Talarico’s gift will help fund equipment needs for the center, provide support for students participating each year in the National Collegiate Sales Competition and be used to help promote the center.
Shank said the center is securing corporate partnerships designed to provide internship and full-time job placement opportunities for students. So far, it has secured two — Total Quality Logistics Inc. and Reynolds and Reynolds have signed on as partners — but the center hopes to have between eight and 10 partners in the near future.
The gift is three years in the making. Shank first mentioned the idea of the center to Talarico when the two were enjoying pizza, pool and a Dayton Flyers basketball game three years ago.
Talarico was sold.
“He expressed an interest in sales and stressed its importance for all students,” Shank said. “He’s an advocate for having students understand the role of sales in their career goals.”
Talarico should know. He’s come a long way from that day in late 1970 when he boarded a bus in Allendale, N.J., with two suitcases in hand. “All that I had,” he said.
He undertook a two-day journey to Dayton, and the bus dropped him off downtown. He asked some friendly locals for help, and they directed him to campus, telling him to look for the Big Boy statue near the entrance.
Big Boy is long gone, but Talarico’s fond memories of his time at the University remain. Today, Talarico actively works to recruit students in the Houston area to the University and invites them to alumni gatherings he hosts at his home and at sporting events. His ongoing enthusiasm even convinced his nephew, Andrew McClain, to transfer to the University. And now his son, Jared, has made the move.
Selling the University to students might be Talarico’s most fulfilling endeavor.No Comments
I confess that when I think about regeneration, the subject of one of this issue’s features, my thoughts are not about science so much as science fiction and mythology. I think of poor Prometheus chained to that rock, his liver growing back each night so that an eagle could return to devour it each day. It was his eternal punishment from Zeus for giving fire to us mortals. Some days I think I know how he must’ve felt.
But such thoughts mark one difference between me, an editor, and a scientist like UD’s Panagiotis Tsonis. In the capacity of a newt to regenerate the lens of its eye, he sees the possibility of one day unlocking similar mechanisms in our own mammalian bodies. A fountain of youth may dwell within us all — but here I am thinking in metaphors again.
You can see regeneration as a more purposeful metaphor in this issue’s story on the River Stewards, who are helping put the region back in touch with the five rivers that the city’s founders first settled around. As a community, we turned our collective back on them a century ago, answering a devastating flood with high levees. Today, regional leaders look hopefully at a renewed embrace. Recreation and tourism, economic development, environmental stewardship — they could all flow together in the plans being laid today with the help of our students and their boundless visions of what the future can be.
The rebirth of the river is but one sign of a broader renewal throughout the region, driven in part by a regeneration of the University itself. This fall marks the beginning of the 10th year of Daniel J. Curran’s presidency at UD. As another feature story notes, the University has experienced a remarkable decade by any measure — the academic strength and geographic diversity of incoming classes, physical growth, infrastructure improvements, endowment health, internationalization and more.
It results from careful planning and calculated risk taking, of course, but those are tactics any well-run organization might claim. More than those, the momentum springs from our Marianist vision, our commitment to, in the words of Father Chaminade who founded the Marianists, read the signs of the times and act. The University community has acted boldly and with ingenuity under Dr. Curran’s leadership, positioning the institution for decades to come.
I see the changes daily outside my office windows, which overlook the 50 acres UD purchased from NCR in 2005. Tennis courts have sprung up and soccer practice fields are dramatically improved. Further in the distance, ground has been broken for the new GE Aviation R&D center.
And across Brown Street, life has returned to campus classrooms and the student neighborhoods after a long, hot summer. With the new generation of students, there is also a regeneration of our Marianist commitment to educate for adaptation and change in community.
And maybe that, too, is a little how Prometheus must’ve felt when he handed over the secret of fire.No Comments
We received word this morning that Chuck Whalen ’42, who represented the Dayton area in the House of Representatives from 1966-1979 and was an economics professor at UD, died Monday in Bethesda, Md. A part of his legacy is the donation of his Congressional papers to the University, our largest collection aside from University records. The papers cover issues big and small, including civil rights and the Vietnam War.
For the Winter 2010 issue of University of Dayton Magazine, we pulled one of the more whimsical samples, a letter from Arizona Congressman John Rhodes asking Republican members to chip in for a good cause. Here’s the story we ran then:
Not all Congressional correspondence is top-secret material vital to U.S. national and economic security. Short and sweet, and maybe a bit silly, this 1974 memo from minority leader Rep. John Rhodes of Arizona to Ohio Rep. Charles Whalen Jr. ’42 highlights the Congressional talk-of-the town on Sept. 13 — a new television in the Republican cloakroom.
Assuming the Congressional representatives invested in a color television, like two-thirds of the 15 million Americans who purchased TVs that year, they probably spent around $600. In 1974, for example, a 19-inch, color Sony television cost about $590, according to TVhistory.com. Today’s shoppers can purchase an updated model of the same size Sony — complete with HDTV and 1440×900 resolution — for around $350.
The letter is just one of thousands that fill 15 boxes of Whalen’s correspondence and other personal papers, and those are just a portion of the 480 boxes and 41 scrapbooks of his Congressional papers housed in the University Archives and Special Collections.
The collection of news releases, personal papers, memorabilia, scrapbooks, campaign information, supported legislation and media files runs 237 feet in Albert Emanuel Hall.
“Many Congressmen leave their papers with a repository in their district,” said Rachel DeHart, interim archivist in University Archives.
As a UD alumnus and former professor of economics, Whalen, who now lives in Maryland, donated his papers to the University in the late 1970s following his retirement from Congress.
— Rachael Bade ’10
You can read more about Whalen’s life in this Dayton Daily News story. Coincidentally, Rachael Bade, our former student writer responsible for the piece above, now works as a reporter for Roll Call, Capitol Hill’s go-to newspaper. You can follow her on Twitter @rachaelmbade.No Comments
The Frisch’s Big Boy used to keep an eye on the six men who lived at 236 College Park, across the street from the once-landmark restaurant, in the early 1990s.
“We would cook out on the front porch and throw Frisbee,” said Tony Felts ’93, now communications director of Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield in Indiana. “There were also times we’d just be hanging out on a Sunday afternoon watching a football game, and you never know who’d drop by. And then they would hang out.”
Walking into the foyer, visitors were greeted by a pinball machine the men acquired and a bar Tim Lewandowski ’93 salvaged from
his parents’ basement. A wrap-around couch filled the living room, while NFL helmets and a Paula Abdul poster dotted the walls.
“That was our social room,” said designated
DJ Jim Sullivan ’93, now vice president of internal audit for a large European bank in Stamford, Conn. “Tony made us clean up right after a party was over.”
The basement was dubbed “the dungeon” after the first rain fell during their junior year, dampening what they hoped could be functional living space. For the rest of the time, Lewandowski stored his hockey equipment there.
A bathroom, kitchen and separate dining area made up the back of the first floor. Narrow stairs led to the three bedrooms on the second level.
“We had an air conditioner the first part of the year and rigged some sheets at the top of the stairs to try to keep the cool air upstairs,” said Andy Priester ’93, now president of a corporate charter and management company.
When winter came, they covered the drafty living room windows with plastic wrap. “It would get so cold, you could hold up a match and snuff it out near the window,” Felts said.
The men got along so well they could even agree on the weekly grocery list. Everyone pitched in for the Sunday night Meijer shopping trip.
“It just worked,” Priester said. “We cooked dinner most of the time as a house … and it was something decent.
“Looking back, I don’t think any of us would change anything. The house made the experience.”
Incoming first-year student Amanda Morel didn’t have any experience with video until she produced one that landed her a $40,000 UD scholarship. The aspiring high school math teacher won enrollment management’s video contest, “Your Question, Your Mark.” Her burning question: “What factors promote long-term retention in the American high school’s mathematics classroom?”
Winning was sweet — “I thought ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to be a Flyer,’” she said — but what made her video stand out? Morel has five tips she swears by.
1. Captivate Honesty was the best policy when asking her peers about math. “So many times students truly don’t like math, so I told them to just be honest,” she said. Morel is a natural star, too, with an obvious passion for teaching math.
2. Be concise Her original question was “What factors promote retention in the classroom?” but she narrowed in on high school mathematics. “You have to get really specific, don’t be too detailed and get to the point,” she said. And keep it under five minutes.
3. Perfect audio is a must Morel shot her video without a tripod. Luckily she has a friend who can edit video. Finding clear sound clips without the sounds of a high school hallway in the background was a challenge, but upbeat, subtle music complements the tone of the video.
4. Smooth moves Morel used creative transitions with music between student interviews, shots of classrooms and clips of her speaking. She also used a chalkboard-like font to emphasize points, introduce topics and cite her sources.
5. Variety show Morel featured dozens of students narrowed down from a massive pool of interviews done during study hall periods. “I got a wide range of classrooms,” she said. “I wanted to get the entire high school, different teachers and different teaching techniques. I went to classes ranging from transitional algebra to AP statistics.”No Comments